Ride Niagara’s cherry blossom motorcycle route
There’s a short window each spring to admire beautiful cherry blossoms. In the Niagara Peninsula, the blooms appear earlier each spring thanks to the weather conditions that occur from being situated between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Moreover, each fruit tree bloom, even each variety, has its own schedule and range of colours from pink to white to yellow.
Plan a motorcycle ride through this region to catch the beauty of the blossoms. Starting and ending in Beamsville, this approximately 110-kilometre route makes for a perfect motorcycle day trip or extend it to a weekend ride with overnight stops.
Beamsville to Jordan
Make your way to the Beamsville area. If you're on the QEW, exit at Ontario Street, head south to Regional Road 81, also called King Street and turn east.
You'll be riding a historic trail that looks out to the north over fertile orchards. Flanking you on the south are the benchlands below the ridge of the Niagara Escarpment, home to world-famous vineyards and wineries.
By the time you dip down into Jordan Hollow, you'll be ready to stop and stretch your legs. There's plenty of free parking and picnic benches around the landmark Butterballs Market, where you can enjoy lunch and hike along the banks of the Twenty Mile Creek.
Jordan to Pelham
When you're ready to ride again, continue east, winding up the hill, but be prepared to turn south on 19th Street as soon as you get to the top.
Follow the fork to the right as it becomes Glen Road and takes you through Balls Falls Conservation Area. This picturesque former hamlet was one of the earliest industrial settlements in Niagara, and now showcases the area's history and ecology.
Emerging from Balls Falls, you'll stop at Victoria Road before turning deeper south into the Peninsula. Once at Highway 20, turn east and keep an eye out for iconic Clare's Cycle, which has been in business 60+ years.
Take note of the difference in the trees, at this higher elevation, you're now in apple country. At Effingham Street, turn north and hang on. This road offers a panoramic view over Lake Ontario, with exciting twists and turns, cutting through farm country as it descends from the benchlands.
Pelham to Welland
This next section offers a scenic transition between western Niagara and Niagara-on-the-Lake.
At Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery, turn east onto Pelham Road, following it only briefly as it skirts suburbia, and then cautiously manoeuvre the sharp downhill turn south onto First Street Louth, which turns into Decew Road.
Continue down into Jackson's Flats, up and around past the Morningstar Mill at Decew Falls and along Lake Gibson.
Bear north on Beaverdams Road (Highway 67), east on Highway 58, and you'll be through the Welland Canal via the Thorold Tunnel.
Continue along 58, which turns into Thorold Stone Road and get ready to turn north onto Taylor Road (Highway 70). Here again, you're greeted with an incredible vista of the Welland Canal, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lake Ontario and even Toronto on a clear day.
Welland to Niagara-on-the-Lake
Turn northeast onto Glendale Avenue (Highway 89) which crosses the QEW and then east onto York Road (Highway 81).
No matter what brand of bike you ride, stop at Clare's Harley-Davidson, 590 York Road, to see the latest bikes in the showroom or purchase gifts and apparel. You’ll also experience the on-site Diana Sweets Diner, complete with its vintage charm. The "Di" was a landmark in downtown St. Catharines before closing in 1996 and moving their furnishings to storage. Clare's has lovingly reassembled them into a working diner which will take you back in time. Read the initials carved into the benches and speculate on the fate of those teenage romances. Note, Diana Sweets Diner is closed on Sundays.
Now in the Niagara-on-the-Lake area, you can't go wrong no matter which road you choose for blossom viewing. Turning east coming out of Clare's, you may want to
Stop in at Chateau des Charmes, home to some of Ontario’s best sparkling wines. Continue all the way to the Niagara Parkway before turning north or take one of the Concession streets north. A good option is Four Mile Creek Road (Highway 100) which extends north to Lakeshore Road.
Estate wineries abound in this area, so if your cellars are getting low, here's an opportunity to stock up with vintages you may not find elsewhere.
Continue the immersion as you head west along Lakeshore Road again, winding up your blossom tour, but not before one last important stop at Avondale Dairy Bar at 461 Stewart Road. Made on site since 1956, hundreds of thousands of ice cream lovers visit this destination every year. Enjoy your favourite flavour while sitting outside against the rural backdrop of a working farm.
Where to stay
Choose from unique and inviting accommodations to extend your time and explore the area more.
Some great options include:
- Jordon House Tavern & Lodging, 3751 Main Street, Jordan Station
- White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa, 253 Taylor Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake
- Riverbend Inn & Vineyard, 16104 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake
- The Olde Angel Inn, 224 Regent Street, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara's climate means it's usually a few degrees warmer than the rest of the province, a great reason to start your season here.
While blossoms are usually on display throughout May, the exact schedule and locations are entirely dependent on the weather. Follow this same route between July and September, when it's lined with fruit stands and displaying the harvest from these blossoms.
Looking for more scenic places and long and winding roads to explore by motorcycle? Get inspired by more motorcycle touring articles.
Last updated: January 23, 2023